Sunday, June 30, 2013


It's just blah. The weather is so hot that, even when I don't stay over at work to make some extra money (to pay that stupid garnishment, cover the income taxes and the upcoming insurance that'll be coming out starting August), it's too hot for me to get out and do anything. Quentin's no real help, he's still pulling the "It's too (insert weather condition here) out to do anything." Kid you not, I asked him the other day to clean out the fridge, empty the trash and do the dishes because it was all beginning to stink, and he spent the day "watching the cats to make sure they didn't get too hot." He had something going on that night, so when I got home and had a bit of dinner, you can guess who did the chores. And all that stuff that was cut back is growing back with a vengeance, so the place is becoming a veritable jungle again. No, all is not well in Paradise these days. I have hopes that it will get better, but no guarantees, so I just take it a day at a time and pray like crazy that we will make it through this with our sanities and marriage intact.

Good news is that my ankle is pretty well healed up, with the swelling completely gone now but still a bit of stiffness. Apparently, I pulled some bones out of whack with that tumble, and as time's passed, more and more, they go CRACK! at the most inopportune times (like when I'm walking around at work), and leave me limping again. So things should get better with me being able to do some things around the house again soon.

Black raspberry season is over, there weren't many this year with having to cut everything back. The little patch outside the bedroom window that didn't get cleared gave me about a whopping quart overall, and most got used right away on my morning oatmeal. Breakfast was soooo sweet. The canes are pretty destroyed now, though, because once the picking was over, Quentin did get a couple of old tire rims out of there where they'd kind of sunk into the ground. Getting them out required walking all over the canes and then dragging the rims out from their burial spots over the canes, so I'm going to have to find time this week (HA!) to cut them back too, and get them to the burn pit. Need to get out with the loppers and cut stuff back where things were cleared already, too. Until fencing can be obtained and put up to make small paddocks, where I can keep goats and sheep, to help browse things down (especially the goats), it's going to be a nightmare.

The well development is edging along a bit at a time. Some of the stuff needed for the bailer bucket is together, a few things still need grabbing, such as the end cap for the pipe and a couple small bits and bobs of hardware, but I'd say it's about half ready to go. Still gotta do a bit of work on the bicycle windlass, but it's finally starting to come along. Quentin's doing a few small things with realizing finally that his wait for rehire to Tyson's is in the downhill stage of things, but he's still got so much depression from it that it's difficult to get him to do anything, which doesn't help either of our tempers, anymore than the heat does.

I'm putting in as much overtime at work as I can get, without killing myself. With that garnishment coming out, it pretty much stinks, because that's $125 a week or thereabouts that could be put to good use on the property, and it's going to take about a year before it's paid off, so it's going to be a bit before anything's done, assuming Quentin will put some of his paycheck toward the house instead of all the things he's talking about that he "wants" that have nothing to do with improving things or becoming more self-sufficient. It's beginning to look like the whole megillah is going to end up on me, with a spouse that really only wants to live in the country and doesn't want any of the work that goes along with it. He's been talking a good talk, but he's not walking the walk, and it's pretty disappointing. Anybody else have this problem? I'm sure some of y'all do, and there's got to be a happy medium to this other than just living with it and getting depressed myself from all that's not getting done. The plan for improving things is already a year behind schedule, and with that stupid garnishment, it's only going to get further behind. *sigh*

But hey, money making is starting to pick up a tad, so that's good, too. Every little bit helps!!!!! I do like making money from online sources, as it's all a bit of ready cash that I don't have to leave home to make. Now if Dish would just finish getting themselves all the way to the blasted outlying areas where we are, so I could work more from home and do even better with things. That would be a big plus! So let's hope that the next time I write, I'll be in a better mood than I have been lately, because this down in the dumps mood is starting to irritate me.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Anniversary

to us. Three years today. My presents to him were a day free to be a bachelor while I'm at McDonald's (ie, a normal Sunday) and a new cellphone ... his old one had decided after two years of hard use to lose the external screen (all blank) and the inside one wasn't doing much better. So a new cheapy flip phone that he likes. It's got more gizmos than mine does and I just got mine earlier this year. Yeesh. I'm jealous, I think. We splurged even though we couldn't really afford it, and went out to Chinese at Diamond Head in Harrison for dinner yesterday.

It's rough on us though. All that overtime I'm putting in might as well not be even getting made. All due to an old bill from over a decade ago that the hospital (it was an outpatient surgery for my daughter) decided to garnish my wages for. Mind, they have at LEAST three copies of the paternity order which states that I'm only liable for 12% of the bill, but they AND their attorneys are ignoring that. And since I didn't get a copy of the garnishment from work until after the two week period had ended to fight it, and it's in a court back in MICHIGAN, AND they can't get a penny out of the ex who is supposed to pay the rest of the thing, guess who's getting stuck with the whole thing? Yep, me. So it's kind of depressing. I swear, I get this thing paid off, I'm going to find me an attorney down here that will sue the hospital for return of my 88% of the money plus damages. I have physical issues (fibromyalgia and a heart issue) that means I probably shouldn't even be WORKING, let alone being the sole-wage earner and having to pull 50-hour or more weeks to make ends meet, so there's possibly damages in there as well. Oddly, the default judgement (because I never got notified of the court date in the first place) was in November 2003. Since late 2004, they haven't even tried to collect on the thing, and according to court records that I can find online, last year, the file was marked "Destroyed in flood." Hello????????? Shouldn't that mean "Give the heck up on this thing?"

Thankfully, Quentin will be getting back to work in a few more months (towards Thanksgiving), so I only have to do this for a while, as we've agreed that once he's back to work, I'll give up the overtime and we'll still do quite well with his check plus what's left of mine. But it does mean that many of this summer's projects, which all that overtime was supposed to go for, aren't going to happen and things will have to continue to plug along in very short order. It's awfully depressing. I keep finding myself wanting to bawl, and that doesn't work so well to get anything done.

My ankle is pretty well healed up, still a bit stiff in the mornings and all but the swelling's mostly gone but for a bit on the outside of the ankle. I can get around normally again as long as I'm careful, so on days when I don't pull overtime, I'm going to do what I can around the house. It isn't much, when you have to try to pull overtime nearly every night plus Saturdays. I feel like I'm going to fall apart from being the responsible one all the time, because Quentin's own depression over not working has him not doing anything he doesn't absolutely have to do. He tends to pull the "It's too (insert weather condition of choice here - rainy, muddy, windy, hot, cold, foggy, muggy, whatever) to get anything done outside today. Though if he'd get up before noon, he might get something done when it's cooler. Pretty obvious nothing is getting done to improve things when he comes up with excuses to do nothing but play video games and watch TV all day because that's about all he can make himself do. I haven't the energy left after work to get on him about doing more, or to do more myself, and I'm sorry for the whining and all but I have to get it off my chest or I'm going to explode. This is so far turning out to be a craptastic summer when it was supposed to be a good one, and I'm so tired already of it that I can hardly wait for the fall to get here, even if there's a few weeks of freezing my behind off because we likely won't get the woodstove in again this year, and may not have the funds for a couple more heaters till after he's getting paychecks again, and I have no idea how we're even going to manage to save up for the gas for him to get back and forth to work for the first couple of weeks till he's getting paid let alone get through the summer and pay all the bills ...

And that's a heck of a run-on sentence for me. You can tell I'm pretty worked up over all of this and not feeling so great about it all, and I really, really, really wish that things would improve, because it's going to take about 18 months to 2 years to pay that stupid thing off (nearly $8000). Heaven help me, I want this summer over so bad and it's barely even started.

With that said, I think I figured out what's going on with the links in the addendum from the last couple of weeks - Blogger likes to add extra stuff to the front of the link when I use the link widget. So I'm going to fix those by instead using a astore on Amazon In the meantime, hopefully this week will allow me to get out and do some stuff.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homestead chores DO hurt ...

And boy, howdy, do they hurt. This has been a very uneventful week as far as getting chores done around here, partly because it's been muggy as all get out, and mostly because I had a boo-boo Tuesday night. We were headed outside to get some work done and I missed the bottom step, and went arse over teakettle. I managed to twist in the air and land on my butt, falling onto my back, but the missed step caused me to wrench my left ankle pretty badly. Ten minutes or so of laying on the ground bawling from the shock before I could get up (with a lot of help from Quentin) and hobble into the house. I managed it on my feet, but it sure wasn't fun. Ice packs, an Ace bandage wrapping and plenty of aspirin (for swelling) and Tyelnol (for the actual pain), and then hobbling to the bed to rest for a couple of hours, and I could limp around on it.

Getting my shoe on in the mornings for work is loads of fun. I don't wear the rubber boots like most of the rest of the plant does because there's no real arch support in them (I have high arches), nor any real cushion, so they're not too comfy for standing around in all day on cold, wet concrete. So I wear the rubber overshoes over my sneakers so I have support and comfort and the requisite non-skid soles so I don't have a slip and fall and crash and burn on the floors in there. However, the overshoes are not really stretchy, and they're easier to get my shoes into if my shoes are not on my feet when I slip them on. So you can imagine that my right foot goes fine into the darn things since I can wiggle the shoe on no problem. Left foot's a whole nuther kettle o' fish. Wiggling that shoe on the first few days has been a bit ouchy. The swelling's gone down some, but there's still some bruising on the inside of my foot.

My ankle's now almost back to normal, thank goodness. A few more days and I think I can get outside to do things again. Yesterday (Saturday) was fun, because Quentin had an odd job to do and I was taking the day off of potential work. It would have been volunteer to show up and get paid to work, but when I checked, there wasn't a guarantee that I'd get any work out of showing up. So I decided to stay home, which meant with Quentin off doing his thing he had to do, I was the one who had to go do laundry myself. No biggie getting laundry from car to laundromat and back again, it was getting it out the rough ground from house to car and back again that required hubby to carry things.

And a great big Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there, male and female. I'm sure we all know a lot of single Moms who are mother and father to their kids. I know I was for most of my kid's growing years, and being Dad and Mom was a blast. I got ALL the fun, lol. But fortunately, my kids have a good stepdad in Quentin (for the most part), and if you ask my daughter who Daddy is, she will tell you that Daddy is Quentin.

Thus, it's been a very quiet week, since nothing's getting done around here. Things will pick back up in another few days when my ankle's better, but in the meantime, nothing's getting done. Just remember, homesteading is not without accidents and injuries to the people as well as the animals, and if it's the humans, not a lot will get done and you will hurt. Cuz, yea, my ankle is stiff and sore and I wish it would finishh getting freaking better, cuz this sucks hind tit. Till next week, when hopefully, I'll get stuff done around here!

Just for kicks, these are the black-eyed Susans I mentioned previously. There are SCADS of them growing all over the easement area. Now if we just had a gas-powered weedeater to clear more of the scrub trying to grow back where we don't want it until we have a chance to build pens and get goats to browse the stuff down (or a donkey, I really, really, REALLY want a donkey. And alpacas.) Sheep, I just remembered to mention, will be easy to find. My old line lead at work actually raises Katahdin and Dorper sheep, so I have a ready source for buying some lambs to raise up for fiber later on when that pen is built. Whee!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


That's about all I can say about this past week, was that it was peaceful. A bit of rain here and there throughout the week, some fog one morning on the way to work so thick that I could see the cloud sliding past the car windows, and my birthday Friday. Yep, this old gal is now the ripe age of 45. Yeeks. How the heck did I get this old already?????  I could swear the kids were still not even in school yet.

But a lot of small things got done. Surprisingly, we had a small cash windfall midweek that helped out. It paid a couple of small bills off and paid the electric bill way early, so the week it's usually due (two weeks), we'll be taking that money and finally getting the garden cart to help haul all kinds of things around the property easier. The one we're looking at has two wheels in front and the standard wheelbarrow legs in the back, but with our rough ground, it'll make getting things to the burn pit a lot easier without dumping it all over the place, especially for me.

A lot of small wood got cut to stove length, so there's now even more wood in the pile than there was, all cut by me with my little chainsaw. I tried to use the 14" gas saw of Quentin's but it has a bit too much vibration for me to handle it effectively without feeling it all the way up my arms. No thanks, I'll stick to the small stuff. Plus that way, I don't have to spend who knows  how long trying to get the thing started with the pullcord. I remember all too well growing up with a lawnmower that had one of those, and how hard the thing was to start. I'll happily skip all that.

We are getting a gas weedwhacker eventually, because there's so much small stuff growing back up where we'd cleared that needs to be kept down every couple of months, so that grass can start to grow in. I'd like to get some alfafa and broadcast out there to let it grow and smother out the trees trying to regrow. There's still so much brush to cut down and keep down, but it slowly keeps getting better.

I'm getting a lot of knitting and crochet design done and once I have time to get more and better photos of some things done, I'll be putting the models up for sale as well as selling the patterns on Ravelry. I've got handwritten notes for nearly 2400 patterns of my design that I really want to get made up properly, add photos of the thing, and put the patterns up for sale. Yeah, that's a lot of patterns, lol. I've always loved my needlework, and often tend to scribble notes that don't make a lot of sense to anybody but me for a pattern that I come up with. However, if I'm to actually make anything off selling the things, I really need to put them into more standard form. So that's a big evening project that is going to take probably a year or more to get done all the way, and even then, I'm not sure it'll be enough, because I tend to come up with more stuff on a regular basis. I've particularly got a lot of patterns for Barbie and her friends, because with a daughter who was Barbie-crazy as a little girl, I designed a LOT of stuff for the dolls. So yeah, that's a busy-making thing.

On leaving this morning, I found next to the driveway that there is suddenly a block of black-eyed Susans growing in the easement. They're so pretty, I may just clip a few and stick them in a glass of water for some color in the house. Quentin's so bored, he's rather turning it into a bit of a bachelor pad and I can't seem to get him to understand that tools all over the coffee table and around his feet by his chair are not conducive to a quality home life, because the wife is liable to get  rather upset by all the tripping over things. So some color would be nice, as Quentin's idea of "decorating" is John Deere, the General Lee and whatever he thinks to tack up for curtains (never mnd that I'd like NICE curtains on rods .... ). There's some hooks still in the ceiling that he hasn't pulled out yet, and he tends to hang just about everything off them, even when he's bumping his head on them all the time. I've pulled down extension cords and plastic grocery sacks of plumbing parts this past week, and it's a bit annoying, primarily because I'm so short that it's hard to reach this stuff to get it down.

Hopefully, this upcoming week, I can finally get some things done in the way of setting up the garden. I really, really, REALLY want to get it set up this week to some extent. I'm putting in some overtime at work the next few months to help pay a few bills off and get all the things done that need doing for the setup of the trees and garden and everything else. I don't know how much will actually get done, because we're supposed to get highs near 90F this week with a lot of mugginess, which will make it seem like it's nearly 100F. Thank goodness for the fan we set up in the living room and all the windows we can open for all the breezes we can catch. Leaving them open 24/7 also means that all the cooler air from the night gets in and helps keep the house cool almost all day.

So that's it for this week. I hope to get some shots of those flowers this week and get stuff done that requires photography, too, so you can see even more changes going on! Till next week!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rain, rain, go AWAY!

Not really, but I sure do wish it would at least slow down. Our area's gotten five inches over Friday and Saturday, and we only had eight inches all during May. The yard, such as it is, is a mess. Everything's so wet and mucky, and so not a lot got done again. Lots of local flood issues going on around the Ozarks, but thankfully, we have been spared despite all the rain. *sigh* I did get out and get some small stuff cut up over the week itself, and many of you who know me off various yahoogroups know how Quentin and I spent our Memorial Day, but for those who don't know:

I slept in till a whopping 7 AM, which is a lot, when I'm normally up at six. BBQ with friends and family? Nope. Relax all day? Nope. We worked on the farm, which we consider all kinds of fun, and most people would just consider "hard work."

Cleared out the trailer of all that wood brought up on Sunday
Cut up all the big stuff to stove length
Moved the vehicles around so that I can get out easier to work tomorrow morning
Split all the big stuff so it would fit in the stove

Picked all the small metal (cans and such) out of the burn pit and tossed in the scrap can
Used the 5-gallon bucket to haul the raked-up stuff from by the house to the burn pit for tinder (I'd love to have used a garden cart, but right now, I have a bucket and my hands to haul it, make do!!)
Hauled the brush for burning from last week to the burn pit and lit it off
threw all the wood splits into the wood pile while the brush burnt down
Tended the fire till things burnt down

I never did get rid of the sun headache I had enough to get out and cut up some small firewood till Wednesday, when things were somewhat dried out, but then through the end of the week, I got a lot done. The plant was closed for the holiday, and with me being on probation right now, I don't get paid for holidays, which would have left me with a three-day check next week. NOT good when there are four mouths to feed. Because yeah, the USDA decided that our chickens weren't growing out fast enough to kill on Friday, so most of the plant got that day off, too. Me, I volunteered to work Friday and Saturday in another department that was running, so I'll still get a five-day check out of things. I'm just crazy enough to give up my weekend time off to make some money if it helps get things into order faster.

The plan is to get Quentin back to work, have internet at the house again, and me back to being a stay-at-home housewife and doing whatever I like to make moolah from home. There's my needlework patterns to sell on Ravelry (if I had more time to test the rewrites, I'd be putting them up), finished items to sell on etsy or yardsellr, eventually raw and spun fiber to sell on ebay, etsy or yardsellr, the garden once it's going better, and various other ways to make money online (I used to do quite well with ... I need to get back to that, too). We know that with one full-time check (his, as he'd be second shift and get more hours plus the shift premium), and as long as I can make around $150 a week from home, we'll be "in high clover," as the saying goes. Plus it would mean the housework would be done to MY satisfaction instead of "bachelor ok" and there'd be more time for oddball small stuff to get done that hubby really doesn't like to do because it's such minor stuff that it's more a wife job than a hubby job (unless he's really, really bored). It means I likely won't make it much past my one-year at the plant before I'm done for good, but that's fine for us. We're rather traditional in the respect of who is supposed to be the main breadwinner and who is supposed to be the homemaker, and right now, it's all backwards to us and we don't much like it.

For those asking, Bouncer is doing much better. He's already back on all fours quite well, back to racing around the house like a crazy kitty, and going outside on his harness and leash for walks. And being a tom, he's spraying like crazy outdoors to let that tom know that he is NOT welcome on the property. We're not concerned with trapping the thing, because we'd likely trap a whole lot of other things instead, so a small rifle is going to be a necessity fairly soon so we can shoot it and toss it into a hole somewhere. Stray dogs, depending on their behavior, will either be shot or caught and dropped at the local shelter. I hate shooting pets like that but this is a working farm in the process of coming together and we both realize we have to harden our hearts to it all because those strays dumped on us could easily destroy livestock, crops or whatever in a heartbeat. We love animals, but there's a point where you have to decide what's more important - your livelihood or the animal's life, and sorry to the various bleeding hearts out there, but my livelihood is more important to me than some stray. The facial injuries Bouncer had healed in just a couple of days, the left hind is almost healed all the way, and while he's using it completely again, the right hind has a ways to go to heal. He's chewed off all the itchy scabs, and there's good pink skin under there, though it's got a ways to go to be all well again. He'll have a bit of a scar from this, and the wound is seeping a bit of pus, but no swelling and no indications of gangrene or sepsis in the wound, so he likely got away with nothing more than a major owie. Smudge has once again learned that he is NOT king of the kitty castle, with Bouncer smacking him upside the head regular when Smudge tries to take over due to wounded King Kitty Bouncer. Didn't work, lol.

For those who are like me and love, love, LOVE free books for their Kindle (the Kindle for PC, in my case), I found a new free ebooks site that is pretty comprehensive: Free Read Feed. I get nothing out of this, but trust me, once I get a chance to get a farm website up and running (it's in the works but a long ways from being live), homesteading and cookbooks and the like will be on a recommended products page with links to Amazon for folks to buy copies. Yet another way for me to make a few bucks here and there online - with Amazon's link system, I can put a  link to a product on a personal webpage and make a few pennies at a time when folks buy stuff off there. There's google AdSense as well, along with a lot of other affiliate marketing online things I am working on. Once the site's live, the blog will stay here but will link to the farm site, and vice versa. You can imagine how busy I am with everything, it's no wonder I'm so tired when I go to bed!

It's about time for me to get something to eat, see about some more free books to check into (like I need more, I have around 6000 already on the laptop, haha), and dump all my email. See you all next time!!!